Elder Tolen's Transfer History

Elder Tolen's Transfer History
Elder Tolen's Transfer History


Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 47 [56]: Halloween Party!

Wow! Where to begin!  This week has been full of fun! And I have no time to explain everything that we did! Ha! So I'll do my best!

This last Saturday, we had a Halloween party at a place where we always volunteer, so we were invited, so we got to go, get kind of dressed up, and help run this Halloween party! It was so fun! There were also a whole bunch of college students, so we actually got three new P.I.s from it! That was also a lot of fun! I'll post a picture of all of the volunteers.

On Wednesday
I had the opportunity to go on splits with another member in my district named Elder Nakamoto. He is from Hawaii. So it was a lot of fun! We found a really awesome park, and we actually all went to the park today and just had a fun P-day. It was really cool; we just went and played sports, and rode down a giant slide. It was a blast.

Other than that, a Elder Burton and I have just been focusing on finding. Lots of finding! I actually was able to see a pretty amazing miracle this week. We were handing out English flyers, and a man who had probably had a little bit too much to drink came up to me and started talking about Mormons, then he freaked out because he wanted to get on a train that was leaving, but he missed it, so he sat down and said, "Well, I guess I missed it. Well. Are you going to teach me or not?" so I taught a lesson right there, and then he dashed off to his train. Then immediately after that a Korean guy came up and started telling me how Mormon missionaries taught him English in America. So he really liked talking to missionaries, and he believed in God, but he started talking about how his wife doesn't, and she was happy, but he wanted to know how to get someone who was happy and content to believe in God, so he asked me how. I had no answer, then all of a sudden the thought came to tell him to talk about the after life. So I mentioned that, and he said,"Wow. I've never talked about that with her.... I'll do that tonight! Thanks!" That was truly Divine intervention. "It will be given unto in the very hour." That has never been more true. The Lord will always help you as long as you do your part!

I love you all!

Elder Tolen
Sports Day at the Park

Long Slide at the Park

Halloween Party

Week 46 [55]: Zone Blitz!

The title basically says it all! This last week we had a zone blitz! And it was such a success! I had never done a zone blitz before, so I had no idea what to expect! But I loved it!

First, I went with a missionary named Elder Aoki! I lived in the same apartment with him while I served in Tama, so it was cool experience to be able to work with him again. He is so good at teaching. We saw lots of miracles. We talked to everyone that we saw, and were able to teach almost everyone we stopped! It was fantastic. It's amazing how many prepared people are actually in your path. Every single person you meet in a day is not by chance. They all have some sort of purpose. And it's up to you to figure out their purpose! That's why the Lord put them there!

After that I had the chance to work with one more Elder named Elder Tipene. He is from New Zealand. It was a lot of fun to be able to work with him as well. We met these two guys that were really interested in English! And, at the end of our contact, they asked to take a picture with us. So that was a lot of fun. They said if they ever went to New Zealand or America, they want us to give them a tour! That was really interesting.

Other than that, we had a conference with a Elder Yamashita of the Seventy. That was fantastic. Then we just had meetings every day. So that was a great experience as well. We have had so many early mornings though I think I'm going to pass out. I've lost a lot of sleep this week.

This email is relatively short. Not much time to talk.. So. Yeah! I love you guys! I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Tolen
Zone Blitz!

Origami Birds for Elder Kinjo's Birthday

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 45 [54]: Another Baptism!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I'm going to cut right to the chase! We had a baptism yesterday! It was so amazing! He [the new convert] was so prepared!

Elder Burton had the opportunity to baptize him! I was so happy for him. It was the first time he's gotten to baptize someone, and he killed it! It was awesome!

Other than that, not much happened. Just lots of meetings, interviews, and traveling! It was a lot of fun.

We finally got to watch General Conference! And it was amazing! I learned so much! I do miss watching it at home though; sitting in metal chairs for 6 hours in one day is not quite what you would call comfortable! But much revelation was received nonetheless!

Probably my favorite thing that I learned this conference was from President Nelson. Interesting right? The thing that stuck out to me the most was something that was supposed to be directed to the sisters! I'll quote it because that is easier for me to do:

 [President Nelson:] Fifty-eight years ago I was asked to operate upon a little girl, gravely ill from congenital heart disease. Her older brother had previously died of a similar condition. Her parents pleaded for help. I was not optimistic about the outcome but vowed to do all in my power to save her life. Despite my best efforts, the child died. Later, the same parents brought another daughter to me, then just 16 months old, also born with a malformed heart. Again, at their request, I performed an operation. This child also died. This third heartbreaking loss in one family literally undid me.

I went home grief stricken. I threw myself upon our living room floor and cried all night long. Dantzel stayed by my side, listening as I repeatedly declared that I would never perform another heart operation. Then, around 5:00 in the morning, Dantzel looked at me and lovingly asked, “Are you finished crying? Then get dressed. Go back to the lab. Go to work! You need to learn more. If you quit now, others will have to painfully learn what you already know.”

President Nelson's wife's counsel really struck me. Recently I've been pondering about trials, since, as a missionary, they come in abundance, and this was an answer to my prayers. I've always known why trials are important, but I never looked at them from a third-person perspective. I've always viewed trials as being for our own personal gain, when, in reality, they are in order to help others as well. Sometimes in the midst of our suffering we try to find out how we can benefit from the trial, instead of how we can help someone else benefit because of our trial! If we choose to give up, someone else might have to suffer through what we just suffered. It brought to mind a quote by someone you probably know:

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don’t quit'. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."  -Muhammad Ali

The trials are our training. Suffer them now, and live the rest of your life as a champion. You only get as much out of a trial as you choose. It's completely up to you!

Well. I just want you all to know that I love you, and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Elder Tolen
Takao District (Minus Elder Burton)!

Week 44 [53]: Crossing the Year Mark

Monday, October 5, 2015

Well! This week there isn't too much to talk about..... So this email will be kind of short!

We have just been so busy trying to find people, and teaching our new friend that I talked about in my last email! He is getting baptized a week from today! How amazing is that. I've never seen someone more prepared. He is so ready. We just have to make sure that his testimony is strong! Because Satan always works his hardest right before the baptism. He really doesn't like it when someone enters the fold of Christ. 

I hit my year mark this week. That was full of different emotions. I don't really know how I feel about it yet. It is sad, and happy? I'm not sure. Never felt like this before.

So tomorrow is Zone Meeting, and I'm going to be singing a solo of a rendition of "Where Can I Turn For Peace," which I hope will turn out alright, and then, I am going to give a training to the entire Zone. That will be interesting. I have never given a training, and it has been a year. So I'm excited. I hope everything goes well. 

Today I went to Costco with some of my missionary friends, and I finally got to meet one of my EFY friend's best friends! I was really excited, because I exchanged a few emails with him before he came to the mission, and I was really excited to meet him! His name is Elder Carrasco! It was a blast. 

Last week, my father shared a story with me about handling problems the way the Lord would, and at the time I didn't understand it, but I had an experience this week that helped me understand! I would like to share that experience (I'm just copying and pasting a portion of the letter that I wrote to my dad, in the interest of time):

This week, my companion and I were handing out flyers for English class in front of a train station, where we had done on many occasions prior. An old man came up to us and started getting very loud and mad at us. He told us that we were not allowed to do that here, and he was going to call the cops.
As you know, before the mission, I was very quick to rush in with a hot head. So as this man was yelling at my companion, I walked up behind him. As I walked I was imagining what I could do. What if it turned violent? I didn't want to deal with that. And then I remembered your email.

I put my hand on this man's shoulder and looked him in the eyes, and just said, "I'm very sorry we did this. We did not know it was against the rules. Please forgive us," then bowed, as per Japanese culture.

The change in this man was night and day. He stopped yelling and saying awful things, and said, "It's okay; please just be careful. I'm just going to tell you this one time." So we said goodnight and left.

I don't know what came over me, because there would be no way that I could do something like that before the mission. But I just wanted to thank you for sharing that message, so that the Lord could bring it to my remembrance when I needed it most. 

I just want you to know that I love you all. Think about you every day. I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Elder Tolen
Elder Tolen and Elder Currasco at Costco